The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee unanimously approved a bill last week that would authorize $500 million over five years for autism research at the National Institutes of Health.
The proposed Combating Autism Act, which now goes to the full Senate, would set aside $210 million over five years for programs related to increasing autism awareness, reducing barriers to screening and diagnosis, and promoting effective early interventions, among other spending. Together, the legislation would authorize more than $1 billion for different autism-related programs.
Cathy Pratt, the chairwoman of the board of the Autism Society of America, in Bethesda, Md., said the NIH now spends about $100 million on autism research.
A version of this article appeared in the July 26, 2006 edition of Education Week